5 Things to Do Before Your Internship Starts

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3 min read

Securing an internship is an exciting and vital aspect of your college education. Regardless of whether this is your first internship or not, you’re likely experiencing some level of uncertainty leading up to your start date. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ease these nerves. Before your internship starts, establish your goals, familiarize yourself with the company, and ask your supervisor any questions you may have. 

Are you looking to begin your internship with confidence? Here are five things to do before your internship starts:

1. Before your internship starts, verify your schedule

Be sure to double-check your schedule before your internship begins. Note your established start time each day, as well as any key dates—like your start and end date, any holidays that fall during your internship, and any dates you’ll need to request off. The sooner you can ask your supervisor for the days you need off, the better. Being aware of important dates ahead of time can help you have a better idea of how to juggle deadlines and manage your time over the course of your internship. 

[RELATED: Why You Should Pursue an Internship in College

2. Before your internship starts, establish your goals

Before you get caught up in the daily tasks of your new role, take some time to reflect on what you’d like to get out of your internship, especially considering that you likely have limited time in this position. In order to establish your goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What skills are you hoping to develop?
  • What kinds of events would you like to attend, if possible, and what tools or programs would you like to practice with? 
  • How do you envision making connections with colleagues and supervisors? 

If you’re a goal-oriented person, now is a great time to set one or two that are measurable and realistic. While you may not know all of the different opportunities available at your internship before starting, thinking about these questions will give you a leg up once you’ve begun work. Later, you can always return to your initial reflection and build on it. 

3. Before your internship starts, familiarize yourself with the company and your role

Ahead of your start date, take some time to refresh what you know about your specific role. Look over your job description and any notes you took during the interview process. Beyond this, take time to research your organization—its mission, its goals, and anything else you’re able to learn from their website or outside news sources. Lastly, research the larger field and industry, which will help you understand where your organization or company fits into the bigger picture. 

4. Before your internship starts, plan your commute

You’ll want to make a good impression on your first day, and being late is not the way to do this. Set aside time to plan out your route—whether you’re walking, biking, taking public transportation, or driving. Regardless of your method of transportation, be sure to allow ample time to arrive at your destination and factor in unknown circumstances, like rush-hour traffic and weather. It’s much better to arrive early and pass the time by waiting in your car or stopping to get coffee, rather than running into the office late. 

5. Before your internship starts, address any questions you have with your supervisor 

If you have a question about your internship, don’t be afraid to reach out to your supervisor or other contacts within the organization. You may need clarification on the dress code, parking policies, and where you should go on your first day. That being said, you don’t want to inundate your supervisor with correspondence. Compile a list of any questions you have, and include them in one concise email. 

When starting an internship, it’s important to enter your first day with confidence. If you educate yourself on company policies, establish your internship goals, and ask any questions you need answered before your first day, you’re sure to set yourself up for success. 

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